Smart Health and work

About this Domain

At SMIT, we study the integration of digital innovations in the daily practice of healthcare and work. By doing so we provide insights in how technology is used in healthcare and work practice today and a careful assessment of the potential value of new applications, services and business models for the future of health and work and its stakeholders. In our research, we focus on the following three areas: (1) Persuasive technology & self-management, (2) Human-robot interaction & (in)dependency, and (3) people centered algorithms & decision support.

Healthcare and wellbeing under pressure

An aging population, an increase of stress related disorders, … These are just a few of the challenges that the healthcare sector is facing today. At the same time it has to deal with a limited number of resources. To address this, a host of digital tools have been made available to health professionals, caregivers and individuals in need of care. For instance, people can use mobile apps that help to change ‘bad’ health habits. Robots can assist surgeons while operating. Context aware systems can monitor patient’s health and call for the right person to assist.

Meaningful, inclusive and sustainable solutions

While some health tools have proven to be successful, others have failed to be adopted or have been abandoned after initial use due to technical, practical, social or economic barriers. At SMIT, we study the integration of digital innovations in the daily practice of healthcare, but also more generally in everyday work practice. We start by investigating current practice to establish the state of the art. We then use future-oriented methodologies (e.g. co-creation, lab experiments and health pilots) to inspire and inform the design and development of future applications that are meaningful, inclusive and sustainable. By doing so we provide insights in how technology is used today and a careful assessment of the potential value of new applications, services and business models for the future of healthcare and work, and its stakeholders.

Our research areas

  1. Persuasive technology & self-management: How can we inform and evaluate the design and development of technology aimed at managing and changing people’s attitudes and behaviors related to health and work?
  2. Human-robot interaction & (in)dependency: How can human-robot interaction play a meaningful role in healthcare & work practice?
  3. People centered algorithms & decision support: How can we design algorithms that take into account people’s domain knowledge and that support decision-making in work and healthcare situations?

Key Results

Key Publications

  • A methodology for shifting the focus of e-health support design onto user needs
    De Rouck, S., Jacobs, A., & Leys, M. (2008). A methodology for shifting the focus of e-health support design onto user needs. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 77(9), 589–601.
    Open publication

  • User-driven design of a context-aware application: An ambient-intelligent nurse call system
    Ongenae, F., Duysburgh, P., Verstraete, M., Sulmon, N., Bleumers, L., Jacobs, A., … Turck, F. D. (2012). User-driven design of a context-aware application: An ambient-intelligent nurse call system. In 2012 6th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth) and Workshops (pp. 205–210).
    Open publication

  • The Innovation Binder Approach
    Jacobs, A., Duysburgh, P., Bleumers, L., Ongenae, F., Ackaert, A., & Verstichel, S. (2014). The Innovation Binder Approach: A Guide Towards a Social-Technical Balanced Pervasive Health System. In Pervasive Health (pp. 69–99). Springer, London.
    Open publication

  • Exploring the Social-technological Gap in Telesurgery
    Duysburgh, P., Elprama, S. A., & Jacobs, A. (2014). Exploring the Social-technological Gap in Telesurgery: Collaboration Within Distributed OR Teams. In Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (pp. 1537–1548). New York, NY, USA: ACM.
    Open publication

  • Context-aware and personalized interventions of assistive social robots
    Simoens, P., Mahieu, C., Ongenae, F., De Backere, F., De Pestel, S., Nelis, J., De Turck, F., Elprama, S. A., Kiilpi, K., & Jewell, C. (2016). Internet of robotic things: Context-aware and personalized interventions of assistive social robots. In 5e IEEE International Conference on Cloud Networking (IEEECloudNet 2016) (pp. 1–4).
    Open publication